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postgraduate thesis: An investigation of safety climate on Hong Kong construction sites

TitleAn investigation of safety climate on Hong Kong construction sites
Authors
Advisors
Issue Date2013
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Shen, Y. [申玉忠]. (2013). An investigation of safety climate on Hong Kong construction sites. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108676
AbstractKeeping stakeholders far from danger is even more urgent for the construction industry which features higher than average accident and fatality rates worldwide. Improving safety proactively and thus saving huge losses incurred through cultivating safety climate (i.e. people’s perception and attitude of safety policies, procedures, and practices at workplaces) has been advocated and studied since 1980s. Nevertheless, the issue remains that what are the antecedents and how do they impact on safety climate and hence safety behavior at the individual level. With the construction industry of Hong Kong in perspective, a plateau of accident statistics reached since the entry into the new millennium calls for research into possible human factors behind the scene. Against such backdrop, the investigation is carried out in an attempt to tackle the issue with both theoretical and practical implications. With the aim at a better understanding of the research question, a two-stage mixed method research design featured with both qualitative and quantitative approaches is adopted. At the first stage, based on extant literature and 17 interviews with local construction practitioners, antecedents of safety climate are ascertained and categorized into five general perspectives, i.e. structural perspective, perceptual perspective, interactive perspective, cultural perspective, and to-be-confirmed perspective capturing factors not belonging to the first four perspectives. To increase the conceptual precision of safety climate and reveal the working mechanism of safety climate, a series of safety climate related outcomes are integrated into an initially hypothesized research model. Measurement instruments and practical relevance of latent constructs of interest are obtained by literature review and interviews. At the second stage, a large scale questionnaire survey targeting at construction practitioners across Hong Kong and case study of a local civil engineering project are conducted concurrently. Based on 292 valid responses, most of the bi-variate correlations between constructs demonstrate support for the hypothesized relationships, despite of some unexpectedly weak effects implied by path coefficients of the initial structural model. After modification based on theory and practice, the modified structural model reveals four routes to forming safety climate, i.e. 1) sound organizational climate through fluent leader-member exchange; 2) client involvement via enforcing safety management system; 3) individualism leading to negative safety climate; and 4) sound supervisory practice contributing to positive safety climate. Furthermore, the revised model confirms the previously found relationships among safety climate and its related outcomes. Learning from the case study which involves six interviews, participant observations of onsite meetings, and analysis of documents including safety plan, safety manual, minutes of safety related meetings, and content analysis of the primary 17 interviews generally corroborate the findings. Taken together, the research achieves the established objectives, provides a framework for future investigations into antecedents of safety climate, and hence suggests that safety is an emergent property of a complicated socio-technical system, involving diversifying factors. The implications of the findings have for devising safety interventions are discussed in the conclusion section, along with limitations and future research directions.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectConstruction industry - China - Hong Kong - Safety measures
Dept/ProgramReal Estate and Construction
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193457

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorPoon, SW-
dc.contributor.advisorRowlinson, SM-
dc.contributor.authorShen, Yuzhong-
dc.contributor.author申玉忠-
dc.date.accessioned2014-01-10T09:45:52Z-
dc.date.available2014-01-10T09:45:52Z-
dc.date.issued2013-
dc.identifier.citationShen, Y. [申玉忠]. (2013). An investigation of safety climate on Hong Kong construction sites. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5108676-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/193457-
dc.description.abstractKeeping stakeholders far from danger is even more urgent for the construction industry which features higher than average accident and fatality rates worldwide. Improving safety proactively and thus saving huge losses incurred through cultivating safety climate (i.e. people’s perception and attitude of safety policies, procedures, and practices at workplaces) has been advocated and studied since 1980s. Nevertheless, the issue remains that what are the antecedents and how do they impact on safety climate and hence safety behavior at the individual level. With the construction industry of Hong Kong in perspective, a plateau of accident statistics reached since the entry into the new millennium calls for research into possible human factors behind the scene. Against such backdrop, the investigation is carried out in an attempt to tackle the issue with both theoretical and practical implications. With the aim at a better understanding of the research question, a two-stage mixed method research design featured with both qualitative and quantitative approaches is adopted. At the first stage, based on extant literature and 17 interviews with local construction practitioners, antecedents of safety climate are ascertained and categorized into five general perspectives, i.e. structural perspective, perceptual perspective, interactive perspective, cultural perspective, and to-be-confirmed perspective capturing factors not belonging to the first four perspectives. To increase the conceptual precision of safety climate and reveal the working mechanism of safety climate, a series of safety climate related outcomes are integrated into an initially hypothesized research model. Measurement instruments and practical relevance of latent constructs of interest are obtained by literature review and interviews. At the second stage, a large scale questionnaire survey targeting at construction practitioners across Hong Kong and case study of a local civil engineering project are conducted concurrently. Based on 292 valid responses, most of the bi-variate correlations between constructs demonstrate support for the hypothesized relationships, despite of some unexpectedly weak effects implied by path coefficients of the initial structural model. After modification based on theory and practice, the modified structural model reveals four routes to forming safety climate, i.e. 1) sound organizational climate through fluent leader-member exchange; 2) client involvement via enforcing safety management system; 3) individualism leading to negative safety climate; and 4) sound supervisory practice contributing to positive safety climate. Furthermore, the revised model confirms the previously found relationships among safety climate and its related outcomes. Learning from the case study which involves six interviews, participant observations of onsite meetings, and analysis of documents including safety plan, safety manual, minutes of safety related meetings, and content analysis of the primary 17 interviews generally corroborate the findings. Taken together, the research achieves the established objectives, provides a framework for future investigations into antecedents of safety climate, and hence suggests that safety is an emergent property of a complicated socio-technical system, involving diversifying factors. The implications of the findings have for devising safety interventions are discussed in the conclusion section, along with limitations and future research directions.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.subject.lcshConstruction industry - China - Hong Kong - Safety measures-
dc.titleAn investigation of safety climate on Hong Kong construction sites-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5108676-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineReal Estate and Construction-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.identifier.doi10.5353/th_b5108676-
dc.date.hkucongregation2013-

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